2019, year of the pig
Chinese New Year
On February, 13th the Chamber of Commerce hosted a reception to celebrate the Chinese Lunar Year – the Year of the Pig, together with more than 400 guests from the Chinese, the East Asian, as well as the International business community in Luxembourg.
Mr Carlo Thelen, Director General of the Chamber of Commerce, opened the celebration by presenting the characteristics of this zodiac: Pig is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals and is the symbol of wealth. As a person born in the year of the Pig, he recognised himself as an optimistic, intuitive, enthusiastic and realistic person, and he encouraged all business people to be pragmatic and to work hard to achieve their goals.
He congratulated the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union, the organising partner since 13 years of this festive event.
Mr Thelen summed up that the China and Luxembourg business connection was continuing to flourish last year in a number of areas, including but not limited in the Space, Finance and Logistics sectors. He mentioned the numerous agreements signed between the 2 governments as well as the “Green Bonds” listed at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange by the Chinese banks.
As a public institution, the Chamber of Commerce’s role is to deepen these connections. He insisted that they are with a business focus representing and supporting our members’ interests. Promoting Luxembourg and its businesses abroad is central to this task. Mr. Thelen announced that the annual Trade Mission to China will visit Beijing, Zhengzhou and Shanghai and attend China International Import Expo (CIIE) again in 2019; he also proudly presented that Luxembourg would host the Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) Annual Meeting in the coming July and expected to welcome 1,500 to 2,000 players in the financial services industry from worldwide.
As the guest of honour of the event, Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, started his speech by recognising that multiculturalism was one of the key strengths of Luxembourg, therefore he extended his warmest greetings to all members of the Chinese community living in Luxembourg. He also highly praised the on-going work of the people in Luxembourg who continue to build business and cross-cultural relationships with China and the rest of Asia.
In her turn Ms Corinne Cahen, Minister of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region, congratulated the Chinese community living in Luxembourg for its spirit of integration.
Ms Shirley Lam, Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union gave the audience a comprehensive report on the development of the economy in Hong Kong and highlighted its unique and indispensable role as the entrance portal for foreign investors to mainland China and Asia.
Ms Lam highlighted the importance of the financial services in Hong Kong and Luxembourg as both are externally oriented economies and the financial sector remains one of the pillar industries. That point was vividly demonstrated by the strong support of Luxembourg to the annual Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, where Mr. Gramegna recently led a financial mission.
Ms Lam called for the need to attract talents to Hong Kong and concluded her speech by a movie entitled ‘Connectivity’. The short film showed in a modern and artistic way the recent achievements, such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link or the blueprint of the “Greater Bay area”, an innovation hub that has been unveiled in early 2019.
Chinese Ambassador Huang Changqing gave a toast on behalf of the speakers and wished all guests a happy, healthy and prosperous year of the Pig.
Many Luxembourg’s representatives joined the celebration and showed the strengthening ties between Luxembourg and China.
A dozen of students of the Athénée du Luxembourg performed two Chinese dances and poems, which were appreciated by the attendees and contributed to the success of the reception.
The event was followed by a Chinese inspired cocktail reception and allowed the guests to network in a festive atmosphere.